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Police release the names of the victims in the Virginia Walmart shooting

Shyleana Sausedo-Day, from Portsmouth, Va., places flowers near the scene of a mass shooting at a Walmart, Wednesday in Chesapeake, Va.
Alex Brandon
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AP
Shyleana Sausedo-Day, from Portsmouth, Va., places flowers near the scene of a mass shooting at a Walmart, Wednesday in Chesapeake, Va.

Updated November 23, 2022 at 7:16 PM ET

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — The youngest victim of the Walmart Supercenter shooting in Virginia was 16-years-old.

The city announced that Lorenzo Gamble, Brian Pendleton, Kellie Pyle, Randall Blevins, and Tyneka Johnson were also killed in the attack. Police are withholding the name of the teenager due to him being a minor. Four other people were hospitalized.

It's still unclear which of the deceased might've been shoppers or were employees at the store.

The police identified Andre Bing, 31, earlier Wednesday as the gunman. He had been employed by Walmart as an overnight team lead since 2010, the company confirmed.

Bing was allegedly armed with one handgun and had multiple magazines on him when he was found. He was dressed in civilian clothing and was not wearing any type of armor or a ballistic vest, the city and police said. Three of the deceased were found in the store's break room. Bing was found at the scene dead from what is believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to police, the city added.

Another person was found dead near the front of the store, the city said. The other three victims were transported to local hospitals, but succumbed to their injuries.

Police say they arrived on the scene at 10:14 p.m. ET on Tuesday, two minutes after the first 911 call. Officers entered the store at around 10:16 p.m. and had officially cleared the store by 11:20 p.m.

A spokesperson for Norfolk General Hospital said they were treating at least five patients following the shooting.

This photo provided by Virginia DMV shows Andre Bing, who opened fire on fellow employees in a Walmart Supercenter break room of a Virginia store, killing six people.
/ AP
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AP
This photo provided by Virginia DMV shows Andre Bing, who opened fire on fellow employees in a Walmart Supercenter break room of a Virginia store, killing six people.

"We are focused on doing everything we can to support our associates and their families at this time. We are thankful for the local first responders and will continue to work with local law enforcement as they continue their investigation," Walmart said in a statement.

The investigation could last days

Stressing that it could take days to investigate, police said they couldn't say whether the shooter had been targeting anyone.

At the time shooting broke out, at least 50 people are believed to have been inside the store during what are normally popular pre-Thanksgiving shopping hours. Investigators say they are still trying to account for anyone who may have been at the store and witnessed the incident, but fled before officers arrived.

Police are still working to learn more about the suspect's background and what may have motivated the shooting.

The store will remain closed for several days as detectives comb the site, collect evidence and process the crime scene.

Law enforcement, including the FBI, work the scene of a mass shooting at a Walmart on Wednesday in Chesapeake, Va.
Alex Brandon / AP
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AP
Law enforcement, including the FBI, work the scene of a mass shooting at a Walmart on Wednesday in Chesapeake, Va.

The attack comes just days after a shooting in Colorado

The shooting came three days after a person opened fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado, killing five people and wounding 17. Last week, a former college football player shot three of his teammates on the University of Virginia campus.

And since 2019, Americans have witnessed at least five deadly shootings inside supermarkets, including one that killed 10 shoppers, most of them Black, at a Buffalo supermarket this May.

Tuesday's shooting also brought back memories of a 2019 shooting in neighboring Virginia Beach that left 12 dead. Then-Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, responded by proposing a range of gun reform measures for Virginia, the state that's home to the NRA.

After a backlash from pro-rights groups, including a high-profile 2020 rally of thousands of armed protestors, the measures saw mixed success. New rules for background checks and limits on the number of firearms a person can purchase went into effect last year.

"Chesapeake Police SWAT Team executed a search warrant at the suspect's residence," Solenksy added. "With the help of Virginia State Police, we cleared the house. We have reason to believe that there's no risk to the public at this time."

In this image from video Virginia police respond to the scene of a fatal shooting at a Walmart on Tuesday night, Nov. 22, 2022, in Chesapeake, Va.
/ AP
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AP
In this image from video Virginia police respond to the scene of a fatal shooting at a Walmart on Tuesday night in Chesapeake, Va.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin echoed that sentiment, saying in a tweet that "heinous acts of violence have no place in our communities" and that he was in touch with law enforcement officers.

Chesapeake Mayor Rick West said in a statement he was "devastated by the senseless act of violence" and described his city as a "tightknit community."

Chesapeake is a city of about a quarter million people along the southern Virginia coast.

Sarah McCammon reported from Chesapeake; Emily Olson reported from Washington, D.C.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Sarah McCammon is a National Correspondent covering the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast for NPR. Her work focuses on political, social and cultural divides in America, including abortion and reproductive rights, and the intersections of politics and religion. She's also a frequent guest host for NPR news magazines, podcasts and special coverage.
Emily Olson
Emily Olson is on a three-month assignment as a news writer and live blog editor, helping shape NPR's digital breaking news strategy.